Fitting Right In
March 6, 2009
By Ryan Holt
Special to GoHolyCross.com
Jordan Cyr did not begin his collegiate career at Holy Cross, but head coach Paul Pearl, amongst others, is happy he found his way into a Crusader uniform. Cyr transferred from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) after his freshman season and sat out last year athletically per NCAA regulations regarding transfers. As a sophomore, Cyr has become a top scoring option for the Crusaders, leading the team in goals and points with 17 and 28 respectively.
His move from RPI was due mostly to a change in coaching staffs. "The coaching staff that recruited me to RPI was no longer in place by the time I got there," said Cyr. "It was never a really good fit for me at all."
When the decision became final to leave RPI, the first coach he had in mind was Pearl. "Coach Pearl and I had been in contact when I was initially looking at schools and he was the first coach I called when I knew I was released from the RPI program," Cyr said. "I was very lucky that he was still interested. I had only played in 11 games at RPI with one goal. However, he was able to see past that and as soon as I stepped on campus with the coaching staff in the summertime, I knew Holy Cross would be a great fit for me athletically and academically."
Cyr was eager for a new start on the ice but, leaving RPI was difficult. "It was tough to leave such a great group of teammates, especially the ones in my class, behind," Cyr stated.
When he came to Holy Cross, Cyr sat out one full season of play due to NCAA regulations. "Not being out there on Fridays and Saturdays with the guys was extremely difficult," said Cyr. "But, I did all I could to keep things in perspective and doing everything I could to improve for the next season."
Coach Pearl took notice of Cyr's off-ice mentality last season and believed the work Cyr did last season has paid off this year. "Jordan was able to overcome sitting out a season because, his commitment to the weight room was fantastic," Pearl praised. "He became a leader instantly because he is extremely mature and focused."
The Crusaders began 2009 on a nine-game unbeaten streak which spanned the entire month of January. During that time, Cyr scored six goals and tallied three assists for nine points. Without question, the biggest goal scored was during the Denver Cup, where Cyr scored the game-winning goal against his former team, RPI. The Crusaders won the game 4-3 and took third place in the mid-season tournament. It was one of four game-winning goals Cyr scored during the regular season, leading the team in that category.
"It was a great feeling (to score the game-winner)," Cyr said. "I had been thinking about that game for a while and I would be lying if I said I didn't have redemption on my mind. Chances like that are few and far between and to play like we did out there and come out with a victory meant a lot to me."
For his head coach, it is no surprise that Cyr scores the big goals. "He is just always around the puck and has a great knack for scoring goals," said Pearl.
Cyr, who is the first Crusader from the Canadian province of Manitoba, models his game after a professional from Ontario, Doug Gilmour. Gilmour, generously listed at 5'10" tall, was a journeyman known for his tough defensive forward style. "Well, he played like he was 6'5" and got better as the game went on. He did everything out on the ice and was a perfect leader," Cyr said.
The 5'10" Cyr is not the only member of his family to have success on the ice. His father Joe, a 1977 graduate of Colgate, set the Raider freshman goal scoring record. "My parents and my grandparents have been so supportive of me ever since I laced up the skates," said Cyr. "They have been my biggest fans and I cannot thank them enough for everything they have done."
The Crusaders face an uphill battle to the Atlantic Hockey Association Tournament Title this year, but Cyr is confident the team can make a run. "We need to play smart and not get caught up trying to play to the other team's game plan. If we play a hungry, excited game and follow the plan set out by the coaching staff, we will have success in the tournament," Cyr said.
The team hosts American International at the Hart Center in a first round single-elimination game this Saturday at 7:00 p.m. With a victory the Crusaders will advance to the best-of-three quarterfinal series at the second-seeded Rochester Institute of Technology, March 13-15.